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Newspaper EXTRA
Buenos Aires – Tuesday, January 15 of 1991


“If there is a war, we will be the first victims”

Suhail Hani Daher Akel, Director of the Palestine Information Office in Argentina, spoke with EXTRA about the expiration date of the UNO ultimatum with regard to Iraqui withdrawal from Kuwait, which was occupied on August 2 1990. On this issue, Akel expressed his hope for the peaceful resolution of the conflict.

- Do you consider the Palestinian problem as one of the key points in the search for a negotiated solution to the Persian Gulf crisis?

- There is no doubt that it is the central axis of the conflict. It is impossible to solve the present situation without considering the Palestinian problem. Since 1967 and even today, our territory has been occupied by Israel. Unfortunately, the USA has not taken the same measures than it has taken against Iraq. Palestinians are not asking for an impossible thing, we are just requesting Israel to withdraw from our land so that we are able to develop ourselves as a nation and people, and we are able to raise our flag and elect our representatives.

- Has the Palestinian Nation proposed any peace initiative after the Iraqui invasion of Kuwait?

- Worried about finding out a political solution to this situation, the Palestine State president, Yasser Arafat, proposed four points: first, foreign forces’ withdrawal from the Arab territories; second, Iraq’s withdrawal up to the August 2 line, date in which Iraq occupied Kuwait; third, an Arab deterrent force; and finally, a general election so that the Kuwaiti people may elect their government system. In all cases, if a confrontation between two brotherly Arab people takes place, the PLO will act as a mediator. But before an aggression on behalf of the American imperialism, English colonialism or Israeli Zionism, there is no doubt that the PLO will support its brotherly Arab people.

- There are 24 hours left before the expiration of the Security Council’s ultimatum against Iraq. Observers consider that war is an accomplished fact. Do you believe so?

- We hope that this conflict may be peacefully solved, respecting the self-determination of all people and states in the region. But we are worried because while the world searches for a peaceful solution, Israel not only wages a series of massacres on us but also refuses to give anti-gas masks to Palestinians. There is no doubt that Israel is taking our people as its hostages in case of a possible Iraqui attack. If this takes place, Palestinians are going to be the first victims of war.

- Is peace possible, yet?

- We still have high hopes for peace. On behalf of it, we have asked that USA and Israel agree to carry out an International Peace Conference in order to achieve that Peace may definitely reign in the land of peace... in Palestine.

Maria Cecilia Barro Gil

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